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Clearwater Volleyball Captures Twelfth National Championship with Seven in a Row

Clearwater Christian College participated in the 2012 NCCAA II National Volleyball Championship this past weekend at the Kissimmee Civic Center. The team captured another national championship banner for the seventh straight season marking their 12th national title since 1995.

During the three-day event, Clearwater went undefeated in pool play without dropping a set, taking matches from Ozark Christian College, Manhattan College, Providence College and Kentucky Christian University. On Saturday in the semi-final match, the Lady Cougars defeated Lincoln Christian University in three straight sets, placing them into the championship match against Maranatha Baptist Bible College, who came in as the second seed behind CCC. In a tough and exciting championship match, Clearwater eventually won 3 sets to 1 to secure another national title.

Clearwater was led by Richelle Bucklin playing her last match in a Cougar uniform as she led all hitters with 21 kills. Amanda Bucklin made a big impact on the match as well, scoring 18 kills during the championship game, while setter Sarah Wild led the offensive attack with 43 set assists. According to Coach Denny, "The fact that we had a balanced attack helped us during the entire tournament. Every team was keying in on Richelle so it was great to see the other players step up and take charge. I also thought our serve/serve receive was solid during the entire tournament with Ison, Ponce, and Medich being our three primary passers. We were able to run a lot of different plays on offense because of good passing and digging from these three players."

Clearwater’s overall record this season was 41-6 with a .872 win percentage. The Lady Cougars went undefeated against NCCAA II colleges and also had several big wins over NCCAA I, NAIA, NJCAA, and NCAA III programs. Other highlights of the year were winning over Hillsborough Community College (NJCAA I) who were nationally ranked 14th and also beating Florida College and Southeastern twice.

According to Coach Denny, “We are very thankful for the great year that the Lord gave us. After graduating Hall of Famer, Emma Kile from last year’s championship squad, we had big shoes to fill. The senior and junior players really stepped up big for us and made solid contributions. The amount of improvement seen on this year’s squad from the start of our season to now was tremendous, and I am excited to see what the Lord has for us next year as we seek to bring in more quality young ladies who love the Lord and love the sport of volleyball.”

Tournament Honors include:
NCCAA Scholar Athlete: Amanda Ison, Richelle Bucklin, Amanda Bucklin, Teah Cole, and Dana Medich
NCCAA II Second Team All-American: Amanda Bucklin
NCCAA II First Team All-American: Richelle Bucklin and Sarah Wild
AVCA ALL American Team: Richelle Bucklin and Sarah Wild
NCCAA National All-Tournament Team: Richelle Bucklin and Sarah Wild